leave where you are
can you just
get in a car
without all your necessary
one book one pen
without the possibilities
of daily diversion
can you leave behind
what you should leave behind
can you just go?
Peter decided, some years ago, in one of those random moments of inspiration, that for my birthday, an occasion of both exhilaration and dread, we would get into the Honda (he is a Honda fan) and drive. His yearly gift, a car trip with infinite stops, is not everyone’s idea of paradise. But its mine.
What I have always loved about this trip is the random unexpected smallness of it, the way that inventiveness is just part of small town American life (The Tired Tractor Museum being one of my favorites. The owner, handsome older farmer on County Route 20 in New York State, just liked Tired Tractors, so he decided he would honor them. Another favorite, from some years ago, the home of Pie A La Mode, a hotel in Cambridge, New York. They serve a lot of it now.
Some people like order and reason. They prefer important sites, where history was made, where society changed. I have always gravitated toward chaos, to the unexpected. I like to drive down roads we don’t know, collecting names of beauty shops while I go. There is no place in this country that does not have amazing beauty shop names. Curl Up and Dye being one of my all time favorites.
We stop, we see, and of course we eat. We eat a lot. This year, because we went to Maine, one of the most beautiful places we have ever been, to see friends and to revisit The Lookout on Flye Point in Brooklin (Go There if you have the opportunity Go There if there’s any way you can) we ate incomparable amounts of blueberry pie, and homemade ice cream. Twenty years ago we went to The Lookout because Helen and Scott Nearing, inspirational icons, lived nearby. It was so much like a very good dream that we said we’d come back every year. It took twenty years for that to happen. Twenty years!!!)
Because I have thought, all these twenty years, that I would write a Don’t Miss This column, somewhere, (how’s right here) this year this week this trip, I will try.